Insights Blog

By QLK Team
on Mar 4, 2021
  • Healthcare | Blog
From IoT to Genomics: Four Healthcare Trends to Watch Through 2021

COVID-19 taught healthcare professionals some brutal lessons about how prepared and equipped they were for the worst-case scenario.

However, the industry's brightest minds didn't run away from the problem. Instead, the brave and dedicated people working in healthcare have fought courageously against the pandemic. With such a strong-willed mentality and solution-forward approach comes the ability to adapt and shift with the times.

As such, the trends moving into 2021 are reflective of adapting and adjusting to the new normal. By taking the approaches listed below, healthcare organizations are bolstering their systems to provide optimized care and improve society.

1. Healthcare Has Become Ubiquitous

With COVID-19 being so firmly on the radar for all businesses, every organization has incorporated healthcare in some form. One could go as far as calling it ubiquitous.

With that comes technological ubiquity—because it's the only way workplaces can remain safe for employees.

While remote work has swept the nation, it's just not an option for everyone. At these essential workspaces, tools such as symptom screening technology will be integral to improved safety. Expect further innovations to help suss out early signs of COVID-19, proactively preventing superspreading and outbreaks.

Furthermore, tech-driven healthcare measures are still of the utmost necessity for remote workers. Isolated employees will benefit from health apps to monitor activity and encourage exercise. Beyond that, online therapy continues to grow rapidly as an industry.

2. The Dawn of the Virtual Care/Remote Medicine Era

Before 2020, convincing people about the value of remote care had been a hard sell. However, being forced into using this treatment method has shown many people its array of benefits.

Minor and routine appointments don't need a doctor's visit. The same can be said for mental health services, in which an uptick is expected for 2021.

This continuing trend will prevent the spread of contagions and help medical professionals be more efficient. They can see and help more patients as a result. Such a transformation will pay massive dividends in places where doctor supply is lacking, such as China and India.

Also, robotics and autonomous healthcare assistants will continue to develop rapidly. These tools help with treatment at hospitals and in patients' homes, reducing the chances for infection.
Companion robots are becoming more common as well. Currently, they're being used in the UK to help reduce loneliness and isolation symptoms.

3. Gene Editing is Taking the Industry By Storm

Through gene editing, scientists have already made many advances in treatments of the following fatal diseases:

    • Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy
    • Heart Disease
    • Cancer

Breakthroughs in this field have been continual, leading into 2021. As a result, expect something precision medicine to make waves and become more prominent. Such treatments revolve around customized drugs matched to an individual patient's genetic profile. Thus, the pharmaceuticals will provide more positive health outcomes and cause fewer side effects.

Another development is 'lab on a chip.' This handheld device has helped with the rapid detection of the coronavirus. Through such technology, people don't need to rely upon less accurate indicators (e.g., temperature checks and coughing). Provided it goes mainstream, this tool can help people return to a more comfortable way of living more expediently.

4. Smart Cities and the Internet of Things (IoT)

By this point, it shouldn't be a surprise that society is one step closer to connected, automated, data-driven decisions being built into the framework of urban life. These "Smart Cities" are meant to enhance public transport network planning, garbage collection, energy distribution, and environmental health.

Artificial Intelligence and IoT play significant roles in these initiatives.

This technology's focus during the pandemic has shifted to managing how growing populations can live within closer proximities to one another. In developing countries, more specifically, this tends to present an issue.

With populations growing denser, city planners will need to prioritize healthcare—just like businesses do. They'll need to factor in ways to mitigate the damage of disastrous events (like the pandemic) to prevent economic distress and illness outbreaks.

Lots of innovators in the space are centering their efforts around environmental health. They're spearheading tech-driven initiatives to reduce air pollution and stave off the negative impact of climate change.

With these trends developing at an increasingly lightning-quick pace, you require the sharp-minded personnel that can keep up. Contact QLK for the top healthcare talent in the industry.